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Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/27/14

Duke Blue Devils (16-4) at Pittsburgh Panthers (18-2)

College Basketball: Monday, January 27, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Petersen Events Center)

The Line: Pittsburgh Panthers -3.5 -- Over/Under: 144 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Duke Blue Devils travel to Pittsburgh to play the Panthers on Monday night.

Duke improved to 16-4, 5-2 ACC after beating Florida State 78-56 on Saturday. The Blue Devils shot only 30.5% from the field and 40% from three-point range, but Duke managed to knock down 34 free-throws and shoot 79.1% from the charity stripe. Rodney Hood led all scorers with 18 points, while Jabari Parker added 14 points and a team-high 14 rebounds in the win. On the year, Parker averages a team-high 18.7 points and 8 rebounds, while Hood averages 17.7 points and Quinn Cook averages a team-high 5.5 assists per game. The Blue Devils are averaging 81.6 points per game while shooting 47.2% from the field. Duke has won 4 straight ACC games after a sluggish start. Defense and rebounding have keyed the turnaround; they finished with 26 offensive rebounds against Florida State, their most in a game since 2004. Duke will now head out on the road where they are 0-2 this season.

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Duke Blue Devils Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/27/14

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Pittsburgh improved to 18-2, 6-1 ACC after beating Maryland on the road 83-79 on Saturday. The Panthers shot a whopping 51% from the field, but only 14.3% from behind the arc. The Panthers were aggressive and took the ball to the basketball all game long, reaching the free-throw line 47 times and making 68.1% of their attempts. Lamar Patterson led the Panthers in every statistical category, finishing with 28 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals on Saturday. On the year, Patterson averages a team-high 17.9 points and 4.7 assists per game. The Panthers are averaging 76.4 points per game while shooting 48.8% from the field as a team this season. Pittsburgh allows 28.2 rebounds per game, fewest in the nation. The Panthers rebound 40% of their missed shots, the second-best offensive-rebounding percentage in the ACC. Pittsburgh averages 17.2 assists per game, most in the ACC and tied for seventh most in the nation. The Panthers will head back home after playing three of their last four on the road; Pittsburgh is undefeated at home this season.

These two teams are playing great basketball right now. Duke may have more talent across the board compared to the Panthers, but Pittsburgh is doing all the little things right at this point in the season. Pittsburgh has the edge when it comes to rebounding, distributing the basketball, and on defense. I think the Panthers will slow down Parker and Hood on defense and they will be aggressive on offense while pounding the boards against the undersized Blue Devils. I’m taking Pittsburgh to win and cover on Monday night.

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Pittsburgh -3.5

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